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Health care costs average Canadian family $16K annually: Fraser Institute

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August 9, 2022
By Talent Canada

Photo: Birkus-Viktor/Istock/Getty Images Plus

Health care in Canada isn’t free — but exactly how much is the average family in this country paying for it?

It’s a difficult question to answer precisely, but the Fraser Institute has just pegged it an estimated $15,847 for 2022.

“Canadians pay a substantial amount of money for health-care through a variety of taxes — even if we don’t pay directly for medical services,” said Bacchus Barua, director of health policy studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of The Price of Public health-care Insurance, 2022.

The Fraser Institute describes itself as an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.


Because Canadians never see a bill for medical services, many are only aware of the partial costs collected via employer health taxes and contributions (in provinces that have them) and because general government revenue funds the health-care system, it said.

The study estimates that a typical Canadian family consisting of two parents and two children with an average household income of $156,086 will pay $15,847 for public health-care this year. Couples without dependent children will pay an estimated $15,229. Single Canadians will pay $4,907 for health-care insurance, and single parents with one child will pay $5,812.

Since 1997, the first year for which data is available, the cost of health-care for the average Canadian family has increased substantially, and has risen more quickly than its income, the Fraser Institute said.

In fact, whereas health-care costs have increased 210.3 per cent, average incomes have increased by 116.3 per cent over the same period, it said.

“Understanding how much Canadians actually pay for health-care, and how much that amount has increased over time, is an important first step for taxpayers to assess the value and performance of the health-care system, and whether it’s financially sustainable,” Barua said.

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